Category Archives: Business

Vision and determination are facets important to achieve success in the construction domain

If you think that having all the heavy equipment in the world can help you achieve success in the construction domain, then you perhaps need to rethink because there is something more important than a machine that is required to sustain in the construction domain and to defeat your competitors from taking away your business. You need to have a vision in your career and the determination to pursue it. If you fail to have either of them, then you and your business might come into big trouble someday or the other.

We often consider that having a sound financial backing is the most important thing after having the right set of heavy equipment but that is not the case. A person who does not know where he wants to take his business is walking in the dark and he may soon begin to face hurdles in his life and may also experience severe financial crunches which may even lead to the closure of the business. There are numerous examples where entrepreneurs who lacked focus were not able to sustain and were forced to shut their shops. Therefore, being focus should be our first priority. We often get help from institutions if we lack sound financial backing but no one can help a person who lacks vision in his career. A person with no goal can lead his business to dangerous paths and will eventually result in the demise of the business. Construction sector in particular is one of the most difficult sectors for people who lack vision.

Stay focused and always have a strategy in mind:-

Remaining focused to your job does not imply that you do not stop thinking about work but it means that you know where your business is heading. You keep a close watch on the ground realities and make sure that things go as per the plan chalked out by you. In case, if there is any deviation then that needs to be brought under control by chalking out a separate strategy that works more on the ground to keep things in your control. A business without a proper strategy is like sailing in a wrecked ship which has all the possibilities of getting drowned.

Know your project well before drawing a plan:-

You may have more than one project in hand and the requirements of both the projects may be different. You need to make sure that you know which project of yours require what. For this you need to do a thorough study of your projects and then draw a road map that takes to the completion of it.

Be determined of your success:-

Life in the construction domain is not a bed of roses and you do not get things that easily. You will come upon lot of hindrances from various corners that you may not even expect. In this situation, it is just your determination that will help you taste success. If you are determined in achieving something then there is no stopping you.

Be careful while dealing with contractors that you have not worked with

Trust is an important factor in any form of business. You got to trust the person before you start working with him and if you are not able to generate the trust and comfort then it makes no point in working along with them. At some point or the other you will get stressed up and you will have to do away with the other guy. When you are entering into a partnership with a person you do not know much about, you got to be very cautious. Ideally, it is recommended that you do not get into any partnership with an unknown person but in case if you have to then you are needed to remain ultra-careful and monitor his business activities. You should not trust the person by not knowing him in complete or else it might lead you to serious issues.

There is a popular saying in the construction world. “Do not trust an unknown person. He carries with him the potential to back-bite you”. This is very much a possibility in an industry where there is cut throat competition all over the place and people are ready to negotiate with their ethics without giving a second thought. Since the construction business has been considered such a rewarding business many people are turning into it to make it their career. They will often consider toppling anybody that they see as a potential competitor and therefore if you think of getting into partnership with one such person you will regret it for the rest of your life.

Contractors in specific can cause you more harm than others. They are the ones who do most of the work in a project for you and are paid as per the contract. Now if you get engaged with a contractor that you do not know much about and he does not intend to do his work properly and is associated with you to make some easy money by doing shabby work, it can lead you to serious problems. It is therefore important to know the credentials of a contractor before you give him the contract.

You need to know if he has worked previously in any such project and try to get his conduct from that company. Such information can be availed with ease. Construction companies do mind giving out conduct report about a specific contractor as they understand that the contractor is not bound to work with just one construction company. They can work with multiple companies at the same time. So if the contractor is worth getting some work, you will be informed about it or else they will give you a negative report.

If you have been working with a contractor for a long time and you know his quality of work is splendid that generates a certain degree of trust in you and you can focus on other stuffs by submitting the entire assignment to him but this can’t be done in case of an unknown contractor with whom you have been working for the first or perhaps the second time.

Work with your team rather than putting pressure for non-performance

We have often encountered a situation wherein we are reprimanded for the non-performance of the entire team. Especially if you are the person who is in charge of the team and if your team is not able to perform as per the expectation of the company, you get to hear the nasty stuff from your boss. Well, we do not like to fall in such a situation but things always do not work as we want it to. Now let’s take this situation as an instance. You have a boss who is not at all grumpy and always loves to stay in a pleasant mood. He gets to know that your team is not doing well and therefore summons you. To your surprise you see him not yelling at you but trying to know what could be the possible reason for the team’s non-performance. He tries to set up an environment where you feel like discussing things with him and finally coming to a conclusion on how to deal with things.

Well this is how things should be when you are the owner of a mighty construction company. In order to get things done, you should keep your mind calm and try to see things from an angle that others do not. You will get to know the cause of the problem only when you sit for a discussion with the person who heads the department. When you see all the departments doing well other than one, it suggests that there is inevitable some problem associated with that team and you got to get to the bottom of the issue. Unless you unearth the problem, you may find things not going well in that department and soon you may see issues pervading to other departments as well.

Understand their grievances before you react:-

We normally have the tendency of over-reacting before we know what has led to a problem. The moment we see things have not worked as we want them to, the first thing we do is over-react on the situation and then once we calm down, we hear the problem. Well, what we should be doing is the opposite. Listening is an art and when you are running a big construction company, you should be master this art first. Listen to the problem first before you react to it. Understand the position of your fellow workers and try to make things simple for them. Do not exert pressure to get any work done from them. That will be a temporary solution but issues will brew up soon and then it may be out of your control.

Change in plan of action may work:-

One of the most suitable methods to deal with the issue of nonperformance is to change the action plan. Do things a bit differently and it may work for you. Not everything happens the way you want them to but changing your way to get the work done might help.

A lien on the construction can lead to serious problems

You take up a big project, complete the work on time but forget to pay your contractors their dues. This can lead you to some serious problems in the future. If you do not pay your contractor for their work, they have every right to place a lien on the construction project and you will then find it difficult to get a completion certificate. More to this, banks will not entertain you when it comes to refinancing or for that matter any sort of financial assistance. Banks do not get into projects that have issues. They want projects whose title are clear and have no issues whatsoever. It can cause several other issues to the constructor when it comes to selling the apartments in a condominium which he has constructed for residential purpose. If the title on the property is not clear, he will find it absolutely difficult to sell it to the public.

The construction company has to ensure that he clears the dues of the contractors should also ensure that the contractors are also paying to the sub-contractors because if they are not paid then they can also adopt the same methodology and create issues for the company. The sub-contractor can also place a lien on the project and can put a halt to the sale proceeds. It has been seen that liens are ideally placed as a last resort when contractors do not see any other option to get their money they go for placing liens. Once a lien is placed on any construction project, it gets recorded in the credit rating of the company. This means that credit rating of the company gets hampered which eventually affects the overall goodwill of the company. Construction companies do not want to play with their goodwill and therefore they do not want to take any potential risk by not paying their creditors or contractors.

Further to this, a dip in their credit rating can also cause problems to them when it comes to getting loans from banks. Construction companies with poor credit rating do not easily get loans and if at all they manage to get it from any financial institution then the interest rates will be really high. This in turn will have a negative impact on their business. They will never want such things to happen and therefore should try everything to avoid getting a lien on their project.

There have been several instances where construction companies have paid the contractors but they in turn have failed to pay other concerned parties to the project. This can be a big pain for the project owner because here he may not know all the parties who are associated with the contract and then all of a sudden you get to know that someone has placed a lien as they are not being paid. However, you check your records and see that you have paid all the parties involved in the transaction on time. You can file a complaint and state that you are clear in paying everybody and can disclose the records in front of the concerned authority. But this is unquestionably a big pain and in order to avoid this, you should pick contractors of good reputation.

How to effectively market your construction business

For a business to grow, it is important that people know about it and only when they know about the brand they will buy the product or use the services of the brand. In a nutshell any company who wants to grow its business needs to first create a brand for itself so that people are aware of its product and services and then sell it to them. Reaching to the end user and keeping them in loop of your existence is also knows as marketing and every company has to form a strategy to market their brand. Now some company takes an aggressive approach and some go soft while marketing their product. It is believed that companies that market their products aggressively are the one who have hunger in their belly. They want to grow quickly and the ones who are slow on marketing their products are perhaps happy with how things are moving. They might take an aggressive approach later as they may feel the opportunity is not right for that time and will wait till they see things moving their way.

A business where day in and day out there are new competitors joining in and each of them are struggling hard to make their name in the market it makes the overall environment to be more challenging. The construction industry in one such industry where you will come across many companies who have just started their business and are marketing their company quite aggressively. People with experience in this form of a business know how the industry works and what they got to do to make their business a success.

Be in the news:-

For people to know about you and your company, you got to be in the news for the right reason. You have to come up with excellent ideas and should also be able to present that to whosoever is interested to know about it. People in the construction business circle should know about you. For this, you need a website where you can put up your business plans and talk more often on how you can accomplish your targets. Your website should reflect the personality you possess. People going through your website should know that you dream big and also have the courage to fulfill it. This is one way to market your company. You may show your aggressiveness here which will go to a lot of people. You can also release circulars every week where you’ll talk about the industry as a whole and how your business is reacting to the current situation.

Be active on social media:-

We have a craze of social media these days. For every small things that we do, we try to put that out on social media. We do this to get some attention and as far as the construction business is concerned, it makes sense to be ultra active on social media. It is perhaps one of the many platforms that will take your identity to a lot of people by paying a nominal fee.

Team work is an important component in the construction business

When you are running a huge business that has many genres and departments you can make it a success only when you have people who work as a team. Running a big business is not a joke and it takes lot of wit and cautiousness when it comes to taking important decisions. You do not know if the decision that you have taken will be beneficial for you or will it harm the prospect of the business but you still have to take a call. This is when you depend on your team and believes that if you take a call to go ahead on a project you have your entire team to back you up and will face all hardships together. There are several instances where it has been proven that a single man can’t make all the difference. He may become a good leader if he believes in bringing the change but he definitely needs his team to follow him and show excellent team work.

Construction industry like all other industries firmly believes in team work. You have plenty of departments if you are attached to a big project and the success of the project lies on how cordially the entire team can perform. The team has to display great team work and they all have to follow what their leader says and got to complete the task on time. This also shows how important of the role of a team leader is while handling a big project. Right from the heavy equipment operators to its mechanics and the construction workers, they all have to work in tandem with each other. When we talk about team work it does not mean that there is no place for any dispute within the team.

Disputes do arise but it is the responsibility of the group leader or his seniors to address the issue then and there and try to get it sorted. It is quite natural for the employees to expect quick remedy of their problems rather than having to deal with the issue for months. This is why the management in a construction company needs to ensure that they address the issue without any delays. The morale of the workers should not be brought down by any means and if their well-being is taken care then that will play a mighty role in increasing support from the team members.

Rewards and recognitions should be quite usual. It should not take time for the superiors or people from the management to acknowledge the efforts and hard work of the employees. Employees from all departments should be awarded for their good work and a tradition should be made where employees from various departments come under one roof to collect their awards. In this way they will also know people from other departments. This will explore their options of learning new things by engaging with people from different teams. These little things play a big role in ensuring that there is a cordial environment and people continue to work as a team.

Construction sector is not an industry for everyone to sustain

There is a notion amongst a good number of people that if you are a part of the construction industry or if you own a construction company then you do not have to worry for the rest of your life as you are associated with a business that will always take care of all your financial needs. However, the fact is absolutely contrary to the notion and people who are linked with this kind of job indeed have a hard time to sustain and they got to thrive hard for any small project that they can manage to get.

As far as the big construction houses are concerned, they may not be worried about getting small projects but they have their own problems which may be more difficult to surpass. Since they have big projects they are involved with big clients that they can’t afford to lose and they have to complete their work come what may within the given deadline. In case, they fail to do so, it simply tarnishes their reputation as a reliable construction company. A big construction company can afford to lose anything other than their goodwill.

Should be sharp and ready to deliver at all levels:-

In order to make it big in the construction domain, you need to be very sharp and quick in taking decisions that might not give you more time. If you take time thinking, you may just lose the deal as there are many who are waiting to take projects. Therefore whenever you see an opportunity on your way try to grab it with both hands after considering if you will be able to complete it in the destines timeframe without compromising the quality of the work.

Keeping too many projects can be risky:-

Chew what you can swallow. Taking too many projects can be very dangerous to the prospect of your company and has high potential to stain the reputation of your company. You should take a moment to think if you would be able to handle more than one job at a time and if you have those competent workers who can manage to take care of multiple projects at a time. Alternatively, you should have a detailed knowledge of the existing projects which will help you to take better decisions and therefore not jeopardizing the prospect of your company.

Having a sound financial backing is important:-

While you are in the process of completing a project, you should also keep in mind that you will be requiring lot of money to take the job towards completion. If you do not have money then you may find yourself in deep trouble. Therefore while you are on with your work, also keep a note on your finances. Do not empty your treasure box as it may take time for the client to pay you back.

People who can make proper strategies and can follow it religiously are the ones who are able to sustain in this industry.

Switching construction companies too often can become a concern

There must be very few people who work for a company for a long time. No wonder they are absolutely content with the company they are working for are also getting promotions in due course of time which makes them stick to the same organization. But there are many out there who believe that switching companies is more rewarding than staying with one company for a long time. In a way they are correct because every time you change your organization you get a hike in your package which is much more than the annual appraisal but you should not do it more often or else you stand the risk of being calling yourself unstable.

If you have worked for more than 4 companies in a span of 5 years it shows that you are not serious about your work and you leave your current organization because the next one is offering you more. At one stage you will find short of companies in your line of business and they also will not be ready to hire you as you have a track record of switching over more frequently and your loyalty will be questioned.

People who are connected to construction companies get good hike when they leave their current company and join the new one. They can do this as long as they feel that they are underpaid but once they start getting the pay that is standard to the position they are in they should refrain from skip hop and jumping companies. As a matter of fact, the new guys should not focus on their package but should learn their work well. Develop your skill so that when you approach the next company you have some skills to display. The new company will not pay you more for nothing and if you have failed to learn or develop your skill then you will not find any new company hiring you.

You do not learn much if you switch too often:-

If you are a person who switches job too often it is presumed that you have not learnt much about the business and therefore you may not be a worthy employee. Spending a year or two in a construction company will only teach you few things of the business. In order to really develop your knowledge you got to move across the spectrum and take the initiative to work in all the genres. That will give you the experience and will simultaneously develop your skill. If possible also try to take a promotion. Moving to the next level is very important because that will allow you to learn something more that you have not been doing so far.

You may look greedy:-

We all work for money but there has to be some amount of passion attached to your work. You just can’t work only for money. That just can’t be the only driving force that kept you associated with the construction business. If you however see money to be the only driving force then the company you approach will see you as a greedy chap who can move again if offered a better package. That will become harmful in the long run.

Giving value products to the end user should be your motto

In order to sustain in a competitive environment, the motto of your business should be to give the ultimate to the end user. There should be absolutely no compromise to the larger interest of the customer because if they are happy with your final product you are going to get more businesses from them. The construction industry works on the same line and they consider their clients’ wants to be the most important thing in their business. They firmly believe that it gives a shape to their business and they understand the right way to be in this business. Clients have different demands and they sort of expect more from the construction companies. Therefore it becomes difficult to meet all their expectations. However, they give their best shot to at least reach near to their expectation and this is perhaps enough to make the client content.

Using quality raw materials gives formidable shape to the end product. Many understand it and there are some who for some reason does not implement it. It is obvious that the prices of the raw materials that are excellent in terms of quality are higher than the ones which are a bit inferior. This means that the company has to shell out more money to buy the supreme quality raw materials and this in turn increases the ultimate price of the product. Now the problem would be on the clients end. They may not be ready to buy the end product at an increased price though they understand that it has been built using the best quality of raw materials. This is probably the reason why there are handful of construction companies who shy away to use the best and believe to deploy things that suits their budget.

Market your products well to insure your costs:-

If you fear a lot then you can’t be a part of the construction industry. Here people are bound to take risks and they take risks by believing that their efforts will not go in vain. Also they try and negotiate the cost with the investor so that they get the money from them in time and can also pay the contractor and other entities involved in the transaction on time. The next step they take to ensure things go their way is they market their products by making it look attractive. Right from the period the foundation is laid they come up with attractive offers for buyers to book their apartments in the first few days. Since the offer is available only for few days, people do not want to let it go off. Your marketing strategy worked and you made some money using which you can carry on your construction work.

It creates goodwill:-

If you are a construction company that is known to build quality apartments, you have formed goodwill of your company. People know you by your work and you achieved this position because you believed in giving the best to the mass.

Contingency fund to be maintained to tackle poor market conditions

Things are not always rosy for any industry and they all have to go through some rough patches at different phases. You try to pull out the details of an industry for the last two decades and which is doing phenomenally well now. You will be astonished to see that it has gone through several bad phases in those 2 decades and this reveals many things. First is not every industry generates profits at all times and when it experiences the bad phase, it has the potential to wipe off many companies that are associated with it. The second is the most important point and it talks about how to overcome the bad phase systematically. Now focusing on the construction segment, it is also considered to be an industry that has generated profits in huge figures and the profit numbers have been drawing more people linking up with this industry.

As we say people come and go but the one who manage to stay can become a successful business owner. As a matter of fact, staying in this industry is a bit difficult as people have mended their ways after making some money and mostly losing everything they had. So what ideally important is to stay afloat during turbulent times and you can do that only if you have managed to set up contingency fund for your business.

Normally, we set up such contingency fund to take care of any emergency in our personal lives. Knowing that the future is unknown, these funds are said to be maintained at all times irrespective how eager you are to buy a luxury for yourself. Contingency funds are never meant to fulfill your luxurious needs and people need to understand this before it gets too late for them. In the same context, contingency funds are quite important when it comes to tackling an emergency.

Keep increasing your contingency fund:-

At the beginning of the construction business, you must have allocated a certain amount towards the contingency fund. But as you move ahead in life and simultaneously in your business you need to ensure that you keep increasing the amount and save more in your kitty. While you grow your business, the risk factor also increases manifolds and therefore it becomes a must to keep increasing the money in your emergency kitty.

Do not use contingency fund to meet business requirements:-

Contingency funds are not meant to meet your business requirements like buying heavy equipment or paying wages to your employees. It is there to take care of difficult times only. You have to make sure that you avail sufficient amount to meet other expenses. However, when the business is not doing well and you are cash crunched and need to pay the bank loan perhaps that is the moment when you should take out money from the kitty. You can consider the situation where you do not have work in hand and you got to pay your dues to different institutions as an emergency one and can make use of your kitty to meet those needs.